Local anaesthesia is a procedure used in case of invasive medical treatment. A small intravenous injection is used on the region where the surgery is going to be performed. The medication numbs the nerve endings in the area and prevents any sensation of pain for a specified period of time.
Local anaesthesia wears off after an hour or two, so all of the invasive surgeries needs to be performed within that time frame. Doctors prefer the use of local anaesthesia in most cases over general anaesthesia. This is because the general anaesthesia induces unconsciousness, which can slow down the heart rate and bring about other bodily changes. In case of local anaesthesia however, the patient remains awake throughout the procedure and the heart remains in its normal state.
Local anaesthesia is not injected into the blood stream, unlike intravenous medication. Instead, these are injected into the muscle of the region where the surgery will be performed. Another common way of applying local anaesthesia is to apply it directly over the skin where the surgery will be performed.
For very minor surgeries, doctors may use a gel or liquid local anaesthetic, known as topical anaesthesia, on the mucous membranes. This kind of anaesthetic is used in operative procedures of the nose, teeth, ear and gums.
Local anaesthesia is used for minor operations where a general anaesthesia induced sleep is not required. The local form of the anaesthesia is also only used when the entire operative procedure is short and can be completed in one or two hours at the most. In case of such surgeries, patients will usually be discharged from the hospital on the same day.
People who are looking to undergo a minor surgery can seek local anaesthesia. Doctors will be able to judge whether the operation in question can be performed under local anaesthesia or whether it needs a general anaesthesia. However, in most cases, surgery in the gums, nose, teeth and other minor areas can be done under the influence of local anaesthetic.
If the surgery is a fairly serious one, doctors will ask you to go under general anaesthesia. Procedures related to major organs of the body are usually conducted with general anaesthesia and in such cases, local anaesthesia will not work.
Local anaesthesia through an injection may lead to haemorrhaging or bleeding. However, the chances of such a thing happening is very low, if the anaesthesia is injected by a trained medical professional.
Confusion is also a normal side effect caused by local anaesthesia. This state of mind may last for several hours after the anaesthetic effect of the drug wears off. However, this is not a serious concern and patients come back to their normal state after a few hours.
Finally, some people may be allergic to local anaesthetic. For these people, general anaesthesia may be the best solution during an invasive medical procedure.
You do not need to follow any guideline post the local anaesthesia application. You may feel a bit drowsy and confused for a short period of time, but the effects will pass automatically. If for some reason, the mental confusion persists for more than a day after the procedure, visit the physician.
The effects of the local anaesthesia wear off in about an hour or two. Residual effects may last up to a few more hours. All of the effects will likely disappear within 24 hours of the local anaesthesia application.
In India, the cost for a local anesthesia may range from anywhere between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500, depending on the location of treatment and the dosage required.
Results are temporary, as the effects of the local anaesthesia will wear off in a few hours.
General anaesthesia may also be used as an alternative of local anesthetics. People with allergies agianst local anaesthesia can ask their doctors to use general anaesthetics, instead.